Sunday, May 18, 2008

Underground Railroad Route Report #4

Hey all,

We've hit Tennessee, and the word for the day: DOGS, DOGS, DOGS!!!! Every color, shape and size, you name it, they chased us. We all have whistles and some of the women have Mace, the whistles do startle some of the dogs, but then there are the die-hard chasers that won't let a whistle stop them. Everyone's feet and legs are still in tack, but it was a huge distraction.

Other than that we have had two long days of riding since we left Columbus, Miss. 85 miles yesterday into Fulton, and 77 miles today into Pickwick Dam, Tenn. Yesterday, was our most beautiful day of riding so far, a nice tailwind, relatively flat, cool. We rode into Fulton, pop.-3800, home of Tammy Wynette. Stopped in Amory, for a wonderful lunch, love the small town restaurants with the local fare. Saw muscrats and many birds; egrets, herons along the water.

Today was a much harder ride. Started right out with hills, a few 12% grade, they were killers. Had my first fall on one of them, I dropped a chain and couldn't release my shoe fast enough so over I went. No damage since I fell on my knee that is covered with a soft knee brace. I am having some knee pain. Anyway, between the dogs and the hills for 77 miles (and some rain too), just wanted to get to Tenn. We did ride along the Natchez Trace for awhile today. The Natchez trace runs from Natchez on the Mississppi River up to Nashville. Originally a animal trail and then an Indian trail, it finally became a main route of travel for the early settlers. Commonly, farmers and merchants rode the Mississippi river south with their wares to sell or trade (including slaves), debarked in Natchez and then made their way north on the Natchez Trace. The city of Natchez was second only to New Orleans in the entire South as an active slave market. Today the Natchez Trace is a designated National Parkway, allowing no commercial traffic.

Finally made it to Pickwick Dam, Tenn. A very small town on Pickwick Lake, which is on the Tennessee River. Pickwick Landing was originally a river boat landing on the River. In the 1930s the river was dammed up to produce hydraulic power, creating the lake which is now part of a state park. It is very picturesque.

I'm so tired, 70 miles tomorrow. Goodnight to all !!

"Whatever the goal undertaken, the road always leads upwards and on."
----Ernesto Colnago (famed equip. supplier to professional racers)


Click this sight to see pictures from the ride.

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